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After looking at another web sight (stoppingPower.com), I got a little confused with regards to their posting on what is the better personal defense ammo for a 2.5 inch 357 mag. Now I come here to my number 1 forum for direction and comment. :banana:

Some posted, a 38+p is has better performance as a ccw round over a 357 mag. Some said, if the 38+p doesn't preform better than the mag round it is near equal in performance. Excluding roll our own loads, I would think a 357 mag / 125 to 145gr. round would carry more k.engery, provide better pentration through outer clothing and produce nasty results over a 38+p round.

I have also seen stated that many rounds have very poor performance in any snubby espically mags. All the the excess power does is produce a large muzzle flash and recoil in a snuby. Some of the recent posting regarding the new GD short barrel ammo have been less tan impressive.

So, can anyone help clear this confussion up for me. At the range I shoot both 38 and 357's and love this gun. Would appreicate all comments. Also what ammo would you recommend for a ccw round for my 2.5 snub,357 mag Python.

In advance thanks. :hand4:
 

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Hi Trader. This is always, or often, an individual thing re assessment. I will give you my take - it may not be that of others.

I no longer carry my SP-101 (2 1/4") regularly but when I did I carried CorBon 110 +P's - tho I have CorBon 140 .357's on hand too. I chose the +P because while they in no way compete with Mag loads for power, they permit a much more reliable faster follow-up.

I am a recoil junkie so am not phased by mag loads in a snub - they do tho just make shooting that much harder and yes - with some, ammo flash is somewhat excessive - but main deal - I really do not find I can make a second shot as fast - which applies then also to all subsequent shots. If I carried .357's then I chose my M28-2 - better weight and controllability - adequate then to recover faster, but obviously, bigger heavier gun.

Ideally I prefer traditional 158 +P - most snubs shoot nearer POA with those.

I think you need to shoot both for yourself and decide then on what you feel you can handle and still stay effective. Oh, you say you do both, sorry - well anyways - again come back to controllability and if .357's are manageable then certainly, they will give an edge.
 

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Usually a +p is Better for follow up shots compared to the 357 .. Sure 357 has more power but you lose a lot in the way of controlabilty.

My 2 inch snub isnt rated for +p so i just carry 125 federal nyclads in my 38
 

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For me it was real simple. I rented a snubnose .357 and fired some 110 grain loads in it and did not feel like I could realistically manage it at speed under stress so I went with .38 Special. By doing so, I was able to get a slightly shorter and much lighter gun which was ideal for the pocket carry I wanted anyway.

The .357 IS the better tool but sometimes you have to consider the human factor and not just the numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the insight guys. My Python is not my primary carry , however in todays times, I want to make sure I don't short change the BG's. I want to make sure I can give them all they deserve including the biggest bang of my bucks.

Thanks
 

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My 25 year old daughter carries a SW 649, n .357 and she just bought some +P+ at the local gun store. Don't have the stats but the gunstore guru said they were as hot as the .357 and a whole lot cheaper.
 

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I could be very wrong --BUT-- I do not believe that you can(especially)buy a .38+anything round that will equal a .357Mag. I was the rangemaster/armoror at a NAS in the early to mid 80's.I shot some of the(then) FBI .38 special,110 gr.(stamped+P+) loads. Lots of flash and muzzle flip out of a snubbie but not really great valocity(as per chrono) Can't remember the actual velocity but remember that it didn't impress me or the FBI and NIS guys. Can't say how that 110+P+ would do as to penetration either. Another thought would be....would it be better to put one round in the BG at say 500 foot pounds of energy or two rounds in the BG at say 300 foot pounds of energy each. Also I find it very hard to accurately double tap a revo. So for me it would be the most kick a$$ .357 mag. round that I could buy or reload,hope that it thumps the BG hard enough that I could put at least one more in him before he could attempt to return fire.-------
 

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If you want to look at the chrono results from a 2.25" S101, go to
www.stoppingpower.net

Lots of .357 and .38 clocked, but bear in mind, this was from one gun, on one day, and on one chrono.
 

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A big part of this equation is what your launching platform is and using good ammunition.

With the little short barrels on most snubnose revolvers, a whole lot of the .357's potential is wasted and a lot of +P .38 Special loads can come close to matching it or in some tests reportedly exceeding it by a slim margin. Supposedly.

Personally I use the Gold Dots and smile and be happy about it. I believe I use the 135 grain short barrel load. Honestly if not for this product and similar products, I wouldn't feel confident in .38 Special for self defense and even still I have doubts about it. I try to keep in mind it's still not the most effective handgun when it comes to raw performance.

.38 Special out of a 3" barrel is about the worst level of performance I think is going to be effective enough for my tastes so I figure a .38 +P load in a 1" barrel is right around there somewhere. It's basically the worst load I'm willing to carry in the worst firing platform I'm willing to carry.
 

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While I do not have the data here right now, my own investigation concluded that the 145 gr Win Silvertip was the best for the .357 considering expansion and penetration. You might go to Warrior Talk Forums and search the Terminal Ballistics Forum. I just searched and here is a thread.
http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?t=7867&page=1&pp=10&highlight=silvertip

Here is another site that shows results from .38 Spl
http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/38special.htm

As for the claim that in the short barrels the .38+P is about as good as the .357, here are a couple of factory loads that I chronographed.
.38 Spl M642 129 gr Fed +P vel = 835 fps.

.357 Mag M 640 125 gr Speer GD vel = 1159.

That is not an insignificant difference. I have loaded some 158 gr Jacketed bullets for the .357 at chronographed at 950 fps from the 640, and I did not consider that max. My point being that the .357 significantly outperforms the .38 spl in short barrels as well as long barrels.

I recall that on the Stopping power forum that the 145 gr ST was the best out of the .357 short barrel. I used to carry 125 gr Gold Dots in my 640, but have changed to the 145 gr ST.

As to recoil, the factory grips are really punishing. I got some Pachmayer rubber grips, and they really take the punishment out of it. Of course I do not find any full house .357 round especially pleasant out of the J frames.

Jerry
 

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not sure if they make em, but maybe look for loads specifically made for snubbie revolvers? Other than that, sorry don't know.
 

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While active duty USN,on certin assignments,the higher ups wanted me to carry a .357 double action, under 4" bbl. I basically refused and ended up carring a 1911. I practiced with that revo but could not( to my satisfaction) master more than one accurate shot fairly quickly. I finally got so I could shoot two shots both single action fairly quickly but the recoil was the limiting factor and the shots wern't up to my accuracy standard. For me, the fastest follow up shot was to use the weak hand thumb to recock for the next single action shot.-------- If my CCW was a small snubbie in .38 Special I would carry a medium/hot,high tech bullet load.------------
 

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the wife and i both have 649's. we tried the federal 125 gr. 357's and the speer 135 gr. .38+p. i can control the .357's(barely) but the wife could not. tried the speers and it's much more controllable with them. we're trading off a little power but i think it's worth it. more accuracy, and practice isn't painful.
 

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For my 2 cents, I have always used 125 gr. jacketed hollowpoints in my .357 snubbies, but since I feel in a snubby a fast second, accurate shot maybe needed I prefer 38 ammo, especially in a light weight snubby.
My j frame carry ammo is 38 special ( not even +P)and gets 14" of penatration into jello after going thru auto windshield material and is recovered at a .44 dia.
So for me that is good enough with no flame throwing and super load blast.
Regards,
Fuzzy
 

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In terms of raw power, the higher .357 mag pressure tops the lower +p+ pressure any way you slice it. Short/long bbl - light/heavy bullet.
In the woods I'd use the power with 180 gr Cast Core Federals. But who among us will volunteer to pop one in a confined space (car, room, etc.) With a steady hand and deliberate first shot placement, all of us can be in the successful 60% of the "one shot stop" catregory using the mild .38 Spl.

I'm sorry to add, I find the low pressure of the .45 acp to be less painful to the ears, more pleasant to shoot and control, easier to conceal, and still neck and neck (95%) with the .357 (96%) for one shot stops. Call me crazy.
 

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I have to agree with RSSZ's comments. No kind of 38 Special ++BOOM is going to equal a 357 from the same gun.

Gunthorp, you have the correct idea here. Low pressure, no big BOOM, (Folks if you've never shot a full house 357 light bullet round without hearing protection, keep up the good work. It is quite painful.:-(

I think that the ideal round for a revolver, for self-defense, is a 45 Colt. I think it's the S&W MOD 25? If I'm wrong it will be corrected quickly by my fellow board members. Again low pressure, big heavy bullet.

Now your Python is a great gun. I've had both a 6" stainless and a 4" 1970's make blued one. They performed very well with the Hornady XTP HP's i tested in them. If I were you and I insisted on carrying the Python I would load it with the hottest +P 125gr HP load I could find. If you hit your target properly, they will do the job as advertised.
 

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Hmmm... call me crazy, but I shot (for the first time) WWB 110gr .357 out of my new (to me) 2.75 inch Speed Six this weekend.

I was sitting on a bench (just had a spinal fusion so I don't balance on my feet very well) but was otherwise unsupported. I really shouldn't have been out and about yet but I had to test the new toy, right?

Anyway, there was consierably more fireworks than my issue M9, but it didn't seem unreasonably bad. I used to own a S&W in .45LC that I shot an an indoor range, so maybe I'm immune. The weight of the Ruger might have helped, too.

I plan on carrying 158 gr when all is said and done, I figure it's a good compromise round for both the revolver and the carbine I plan to buy... though I intend to test 180gr softpoints out of it when I get the chance just for fun.
 

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I use Remmington 125gr JHP in my 3"SP101, there is a noticable recoil difference between those and the 145gr +P's I tried. All in all I figure if you have a 357 and thats what you carry, you should carry 357 loads in it, you just have to practice, practice, practice after a while you will be proficent with a follow up shot with the mag loads.
 
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